Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Kristin L. Moilanen

Committee Member

Amy E. Root

Committee Member

Amy Gentzler


Adolescence is the period of development of many negative and positive behaviors. On the positive side, prosocial behaviors are positive behaviors that become more prominent in adolescents. Many of the studies that explore prosocial behaviors have explored it during childhood rather than in adolescence. Additionally, few have assessed specific parenting styles, like authoritarian parenting and its influence on adolescents’ prosocial behaviors within distinct relationships. Therefore, the aims of this study were to assess how the maternal authoritarian parenting style is associated with adolescents’ prosocial behaviors. I also explored how the association between these two variables differ for friends and strangers (i.e., it was expected to be stronger for friends than strangers). Participants were N = 463 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18 years old (51.9% female, 64% European American) and their mothers from Wave V of the Flourishing Families Project. Correlations revealed that authoritarian mothers had adolescents who reported lower prosocial behaviors with friends. Still, regressions controlling for demographic variables showed no associations between authoritarian parenting and prosocial behaviors with friends or strangers. Implications include assisting parents of adolescents in promoting prosocial behaviors. Implications of this study lie within assessing ethnicity as a moderator rather than a control variable to capture the overall rationale behind these compelling findings.